Life on Campus / Summer 2016
Robots That Play Soccer

At the end of the course, teams pit their robots against each other in an actual match on a mini-“field”

Photo of a small robot with wheels in front of a ball

Photo: Francisco Estrada

Those who love soccer, think robots are cool and have never lost their fondness for Lego would no doubt enjoy U of T Scarborough’s computer science course “CSC C85: Embedded Systems.”

For 12 weeks, about 60 students work in teams to build tiny robots, using such tools as standard Lego robot kits. Then, they pit their robots against each other in an actual match on a miniature soccer field.

“Embedded systems” refers to anything with a processor designed for a specific purpose – from a smartwatch to an airliner. “Robots are a prime example of embedded systems,” says Prof. Francisco Estrada, who designed the course. “And what could be more fun than robots playing soccer?”

Estrada’s aim is to give students practical experience in developing software, and help them find work in the ever-expanding embedded-devices market.

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